On September 30th, 2018 Stephen Bouikidis came in as a guest speaker for our Social Media Innovation course. As the Chief Digital Strategist at Magma Digital, Stephen spoke about key strategies that he uses to help clients bridge social media to elevate brands.
Social Media is where people uncover a brands personality. Brands have the potential to go viral with social and reach an extremely large audience. Nearly 2.1 Billion people have social media accounts so it’s easy to understand why social media is crucial to building a brand. With the multitude of channels available, it can be easy for brands to over extend their presence, but doing so may not be effective. In fact, it’s more strategic for brands to identify their target audience and establish a strong presence with one or two channels. Google Plus for example (though not a major social channel) factors heavily in Google search rankings. Instagram appeals more to younger audiences and millennials while Facebook tends to lean more toward an older demographic.
Partnering with influencers is also a viable strategy for brands. Influencers can be categorized as either mega, macro or micro. Mega influencers (over 1MM followers) are flat out famous (actors, musicians reality stars). Successfully reaching these people would require a mutual connection or divine intervention. Although they have a large following, engagement rates amongst mega influencers only hover around 2-5%. Macro influencers (10K-1MM followers) have higher engagement rates (5-25%). Their audience can be grouped around a particular interest which makes them more powerful. They would be more receptive to inbound requests as well. Finally, micro influencers (500-10K followers) have engagement rates above 25%. Micro influencers vet sponsors very carefully making them harder to partner with. Their reputation as a thought leader depends on their credibility so endorsing a low-quality product could eliminate years of work establishing their reputability.
Stephen had reviewed the importance of content marketing in branding. Consumers want to be engaged with unique content that adds value in some shape or form. Conducting consumer surveys is a great way to uncover what topics would bring value. There’s been more of a shift with organic using social and content marketing has been a key component of that. Consumers gravitate toward valuable, interesting and engaging content and take note on where it’s being shared.
Google began to factor social into their algorithms in 2015 so it’s been playing an important role in search ever since. Overall social media can be a great tool to increase brand awareness, but as more and more brands jump into the bandwagon it can be hard to grasp the attention of your audience and compete. Brands should use social media effectively to keep consumers engaged and interested.
Guerrero, A. (2018, July 26). An Introduction to Brand Building Through Social Media. Retrieved October 28, 2018, from https://www.canva.com/learn/introduction-brand-building-social-media/
Steele, M. (2017, July 21). 3 tiers of influencers – learning how to choose the right one for your brand. Retrieved October 28, 2018, from https://www.waxmarketing.com/3-tiers-of-influencers/